Spring is a week away and today in Melbourne it’s blowing a northerly gale. It’s a feverish wind, thick with grit and pollen. I tried my very best to ride to the studio with my eyes closed against it. It’s what our friend Gen calls an up-skirt wind, a day when dresses and skirts balloon around girl’s legs.
I await the spring with a mixed feeling of joy for the warmth and terror of the pollen. Sarah and I have both grown hyper allergic to the Melbourne spring and this wind blows both warmth and hay fever with it. But my joy out ways the terror. Ice cream, salads, and mangoes are moments away, and in the meantime there is this cordial.
It’s a fragrant and tart refreshment. Perfectly cooling for a warm and tumultuous day, an antidote to the fever. It’s not difficult to make. You could leave out the tamarillo if you can’t find them. But a perfectly ripe tamarillo is a beautiful thing. A tamarillo should be a deep orange red, fragrant and taste a little tart. If eating fresh, slice it in half and scoop the flesh out with a spoon like you would a kiwi fruit. A month ago they were ripe on suburban trees in Brunswick, so they should still be in season. A little bottled rosewater could also be substituted for the fresh steeped rosewater if you’ve no roses growing in your garden. The cordial keeps well in the fridge for a couple of weeks, if you can hold off for that long. Serve with ice and ice cold soda and maybe some crushed mint leaves.
Sarah and I are going to sip this, wait for the wind to abate and attempt to hold our ballooning skirts down.
Pomegranate, Rose and Tamarillo Cordial
juice of 1 pomegranate (this can be done in a citrus juicer- push the halve pomegranate down on the juicer and be careful of spills!)
1 tamarillo sliced
2 unsprayed roses from the garden (place about a cup of boiling water over two upturned roses in a bowl or glass just to cover the petals, not the stems or rosehip – stem side up – and let steep overnight)
1 cup caster sugar
Place all ingredients: sugar, pomegranate juice, rose water and tamarillo in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Once boiling reduce heat to a simmer and let the syrup reduce to half of its original quantity.
Strain through a fine sieve and let stand to cool. Place in a bottle in the fridge and when you wish to serve, serve with soda water to taste.
(This recipe was originally published in Yen, #48.)